Health

RUSUK ask : Why can’t I smoke there?

Why can’t I smoke there?

Because it’s a foul, disgusting, totally selfish habit, and unless you are on your own, in your own little hovel, morally you shouldn’t do it.

Ok, I am one of those pesky ex-smokers, the worst sort, where I used to do exactly what I am now preaching you shouldn’t.

And I was a lousy smoker as well, messy, ash everywhere. And you know what? I didn’t really enjoy it that much. Yes, the first drag or two were magic, but the shorter the cigarette got, and the stronger it became, the more I loathed it, until the next pang of addiction arrived. When I sat down to a lovely meal in a fabulous restaurant, I didn’t anticipate the wonders to come, I just wondered how long I had to wait to go outside and relieve my addiction. Pathetic. Plus, I didn’t smoke one fag without, momentarily at least, considering the damage it was doing. Also pathetic.

I was a late starter, so at least my lungs were perfectly formed before I started destroying them. I was in my late twenties, and travelling thousands of miles in a white van doing gigs all around Europe. All the band smoked except me. When it was my turn to drive through the night, severe tiredness was always a risk. After trying a cigarette, I believed it kept me more aware and awake, so I started, and by the end of the week I was hooked. Pathetic.

I know all governments need the tax income from cigarettes, and the manufacturers are adamant that there is nothing wrong with their products. That’s why they are not banned outright. But can you imagine allowing any foodstuff on supermarket shelves that were poisonous and proven to cause ill-health? Pathetic. A substance that only produces debilitation, disease and death. No benefits. Absolutely Pathetic.

So eventually I gave up. It is sooooo anti-social, and I began to feel like some pariah when around others. I ceased smoking with the help of a superb book: “Alan Carr’s easy way to stop smoking.” I recommend this to anyone. You don’t stop smoking until you have read the very last word on the very last page. I know it has worked for hundreds of thousands. Maybe millions. Take a look at the website if you want more help. 

https://www.allencarr.com/easyway-stop-smoking/

It worked for me. Not Pathetic at all.

Why can’t I smoke there? 

Back in the 2000s, smoking was not really taken as something “not cool” in Russia. Plus, I never really cared about it because I’ve never been a smoker. 

I’ve actually thought that smoking was an integral part of drinking out, a kind of socializing. If you’re having a beer, why not have a cigarette? This is why I was never against it. The only thing that I hated about it was the awful smell of tobacco on my clothes when I was finally home after having fun in a bar. 

Sure, I didn’t smoke, but I was stinking like a skunk gotten back home. Even at this point, when I’ve known that Ireland was prohibiting smoking inside pubs, cafes, etc., I was really surprised: How can this be? Smoking is a part of a bar entourage. So what’s going to be next? Stop drinking in bars? 

When country by country started to do the same, Russia finally wasn’t an exception. 

This was when I suddenly appreciated such a decision. I stopped being a passive smoker, this is fine. But the major thing is that I stopped stinking on my way back from a drinking facility. This was BIG. 

Yes, smoking kills but I don’t really care about it as this is adult people’s responsibility. 

Dear smokers: I don’t mind if you smoke. I actually admit that a cigarette might look cool, kind of old-fashioned way of thinking, I know. 

But God damn it, do it somewhere outside, not right near me, let me have my beer without becoming a skunk!

If conditions persist, consult your Doctor.

I have a real disability: I’m an American. Symptoms may include but are not limited to: 

    • confusion concerning simple topics
    • childish name-calling
    • uncontrolled urge to invade a random Middle Eastern country
    • an inability to follow sound advice

For example, let’s take the first item on our list, confusion concerning simple topics. Ready?

Sir, I am an American. It is wrong to expect society to pay for the one in three smokers who will develop cancer. This habit forces all society to bear the consequences of the irresponsible actions of a few.

Hell yeah! I’m Mercan!!! You think some damn deep state bureaucrats gonna’ take my liberties? I damn well smoke where I want and nobody is gonna tell me different.

I actually understand and identify with both sentiments. Yes, I just said that. Look, it’s a little like when Americans talk about abortion and how all life is precious. We also support the death penalty. See? Now you understand.

I remember a few years ago, my friend Sherri, who happens to be Evangelical (this was before Trump), was telling me about how we should treat our bodies as a temple… as she took another drag. We were talking about alcohol at the moment because I drink and she doesn’t. I pointed out that Jesus turned water into wine (Party!); however she was unmoved by my arguments. She finished her cigarette and we went back inside the office.

So yes, you can present me with a simple topic like where I should be allowed to smoke and I may well suffer a mental meltdown. Thankfully, because I am an American, few will notice and I’ll recover after a few minutes.

And I really do exist in a state of confusion: I know the position is indefensible. As an aside, I don’t smoke but if somebody wants to light-up in a bar, that’s his business. AND, I don’t think I should have to pay more for insurance because of this stupid fool’s hospital bill. 

I suppose the entire thing will sort itself in a few short years. The habit of smoking will simply be outlawed in most places around the world. When I was a kid, you could light-up anywhere. Now, most smokers have trouble finding a place outside their homes where they can smoke.

Now, just to be sure you see how crazy I really am: I think it’s OK to smoke in some public places but not others. Hospital, nope; football stadium, hell yeah! Not only is that crazy, I’m not even sure that’s a sentence. The Donald would be so proud.

 

To read more from RUSUK click here